Thursday, September 2, 2021

Mom-Day Adventure: The Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

Hello, my friends! Block off your schedule, this is a BIG post, full of gardens and flowers and trees. Yes, it's a Mom-Day Adventure! And we finally made it to Glendale Gardens, aka the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, and wow, what an amazing place it is! 

What to wear? Shoes first - I knew Mom had taken her folks there when they were in their 70s/80s, so it would be okay to wear a small heel. If a wheelchair can make it through, so can these shoes. 
And then this vintage jammy dress leapt out at me.

  • Dress - Styled by Adrian, vintage 60s, thrifted; last worn here in April 2020 as a Mental Health outfit
  • Shoes - Channi B; last seen here in May for both Mom's birthday and my first vaccine jab
  • Leather blazer (below) - /id Collection, thrifted; last seen here in April with tiger and florals

It's another dress where I'm lucky if I can sneak in a wearing of it annually. 
So many dresses, so little time! 
I should do a Flashback on it at some point (I've had it for over five years), but not today. Suffice to say, it's beautiful and unique and I love it.
We have other things to get to! 

The weather is supposed to verge into coolness and rainy business within the next few days, so I layered up with a vintage full slip underneath. 
The seams on this dress are a bit itchy (it has lame - I mean, lah-MAY! - thread in it). I also wore nylons. I thought I was going to be chilled - I was so wrong.

I took my pastel aqua leather blazer. You know, in case I got cold. *snort*
"I always dress up for Mom-Day," I told a couple of people at the gardens who noticed my splendor. 

This is how I appeared to the world at large. It ended up being hot out, with the sun overhead, and temps around 25.
Both Mom and I put our coats in her car halfway through our day. 

I was never anywhere close to buttoning the jacket up. At least you can see my mask. 
By the time Mom and I wrapped up our afternoon, I was literally dripping with sweat. Thank goodness for the slip or I would have sweated in my dress. 

  • Mask - by Mom

The stuff: 
These shoes are practically flats with that generous platform. 

Blue and green bling: 
Ooh, it's all matchy! My heart is happy. 

  • Purse - Roadrunner, Enid Collins, vintage 70s, consignment
  • Turquoise/crystal cuff - Myka, consignment
  • Rabbit fur puff brooch - Catawumpus
  • Bug brooch - vintage fair
  • Earrings - Sherman, vintage 60s, thrifted
  • Fulvia Ring - Wendy Brandes
  • Gold/crystal ring - Mom's, vintage 70s
  • Green crystal bracelet - vintage 60s, Mom's

Mom told me her mother (my Gram) brought the green crystal ring back from a trip to Scotland. Aw! 

Okay, pull up a seat, my friends. No need to crowd, I saved you a bench. Do you need some tea?
Mom picked me up in the late morning, and we headed out to the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP) - link here, always 'cause I love. It's her favourite place in all of Victoria to go get a dose of nature, and I've never been there. 

First, we have Mom's outfit. Looking sharp in a cute cropped pant and dotted top (bought second-hand). 
The blue Jacques Vert jacket is a gift from me (thrifted), and the long gold necklace is one from Joyce (Mom's best friend Kathy's mum - I have a couple of dresses from Joyce). Mom pointed out that the gold matched the gold grommets on her trousers - nice matching! 

We arrived - loads of parking, but it was quite busy - and paid our entry. Mom bought herself a membership, which allowed her one free guest (me!). 
She's planning on bringing more friends and family here, as well as members of her art group. I would totally go back. 

This is the grand entryway after you come in through the secure deer gate (deer + gardens = no gardens). 
A tortoise! This one's for you, Vix! This stone "Jacob" was gazing at the burbling water coming out of a rock fountain, which you can see in the previous pic. Note the lovely pink water lily. 

The corner of the administrative building and gift shop. 
There's a restaurant around that corner to the left where we had a late lunch. 
Stairs leading down - the entry area has a cluster of buildings (education centre, sheds, etc.) and is on top of a hill - Victoria is a very hilly place. 

Mom, step away from the plant sale! 
"We're going."

We did, before we left. Mom knows what she wants, and she gets it. 

There are two orchard areas which are currently full of ready-to-harvest apples and pears. 
Red apples! 

Most of the areas have these signs (click to embiggen any picture), but we just kept right and worked our way around. 
It's a good rule of thumb. 

We...headed right! 
This is the natural vegetation of this area - this all feels very familiar and comforting to me. Pines, Douglas firs, salal and ferns. 

There are benches everywhere. 
Tucked off the paths, up their own little paths. 

An inukshuk! It's saying, "Keep going right."
Have you heard of these? Link here to the Canadian Encyclopedia (I had no idea there was such a thing!).

Another Japanese garden! 
This is the Takata Japenese Garden, named after the same gentleman who created the Gorge Park that we visited last week (here).
It took a long time to build this! 

Mom used to come here and paint en plein air in the gardens - I recognized this view from one of her paintings. 
That is picturesque as hell. 

A little wooden walkway crossed over this pool, which drains down the hill to another pond at the bottom. 
The gurgle of water filled the air. 

Walking around the pond and looking at the bridge again. 
See the small waterfall at the bottom? Gurgling.

Mom and I had silly grins on our faces for the whole time - it's so beautiful. 
The sun dappled through the trees that towered over our heads. 

The bridge! 
We didn't actually go over it. 

Instead, we kept right! 
To the Bonsai Garden! 

This was a huge space, set up for quiet contemplation. 
Check out this bonsai.
That was only about 18" tall. 

The whole section was open, with benches so you could just contemplate, be Zen and look at all the bonsai trees. 
The HPC does classes and events here, including bonsai. 

We headed down to the lower field.
I spy a big fat hydrangea beside Mom. 

The stream gurgled along on our right. 
More stream, more gurgling. 
That's looking back at the bridge from below. 

Don't be fooled - this bridge is only six inches tall! 
Miniature anything appeals to me immensely. If I had a garden, it would be full of fairy houses and red bridges. I'd be that weird lady.

Here's where the stream ended - in a lovely pond covered in lily pads. 
It was buzzing with bees and humming dragonflies. 
So pretty. Wait a minute...what's that in the corner?

It's a MERMAID! 
That is incredibly awesome. There were works of art all through the HCP. I love sculpture in gardens. 

Working our way around the pond. 
More water lilies. 

What a lovely arbour. 
I adore a tunnel of greenery. 

We ended up back at the winter garden, and continued down. 
We'd both abandoned our coats by this time. 

I think this is part of the Spiral Garden. 
I know about 2% of these plants. Succulents! 

The lower field - I had Mom take a picture of me under this arch. 
I spy a gazebo! 
Wait, what is that on the left? Ruins?
It's a freakin' folly! Wow! I need to transport this to my street for outfit photos.

I spotted this couple from an upper path. 
So when I was on the lower field, I had to go check them out. 
They remind me of two people walking their dogs. This field was full of Canada goose poop, which are pests. You can see a gaggle of them in the background, hissing and being cranky. And pooping. Seriously, it was EVERYWHERE. My poor shoes (I gave them a good clean, and was very careful where I stepped). 

The Farm Garden. 
I think the restaurant gets their veggies from here. 

These spent blooms left behind really interesting shapes. 
Look at this amazing sculpture - actually there are two here. One is on the left and incorporates shovels; the other is the bench/gate area.
I think the Head Gardener might be a hobbit.
Pinecones and fir cones are starting to fall. 

This is the Great Lawn.
The light section beyond is a marsh area, left natural. This area is rural, not many houses. 

These hydrangea blossoms were bigger than my head! 
I like the creepy tentacle-like stalks in front. 

You gardeners, do you grow circular squash? 
That's a new one to me. 

This is a gigantic eucalyptus (this ones' for Mica!). 
Some beautiful ripe pears. 

Looking back from where we've come, as we work our way back to the buildings at the top of the hill. 
I'm starting to get "flower overload. "
Wow, so many flowers. Plants. Trees.

This garden caught my eye. Okay, it was the little house. 
What a lovely haven. 
Oh, this one's for you, Ann
Your residential garden is one of my favourites. 

OMG, roses. I love roses. 
ORANGE roses. I have to smell ALL roses. No exceptions. 

But we were getting very hungry by this time. 
Big spiky things! It's a sculpture.

Look at this excellent menu! The restaurant is Charlotte & the Quail, "A special little place." It's named after Charlotte the garden kitty, the quails that live in the gardens, and a play on the location (Quayle Road) - story here. We didn't see Charlotte - she must be offsite due to the ongoing pandemic. 
They were out of our first choice, the Harvest Pie (the place was hopping busy), so Mom had the Golden Breakfast, and I had the Oatmeal Pancakes. 

The seating has been reduced, and like most service places, they were understaffed. 
That was fine by us - we had nowhere to go. Plus, duh, chilling out together in such a gorgeous place?

The food took a while but was worth it. We tipped our poor harried server generously. 
Most of the food is gluten-free and dairy-free, with many vegan options. The hollandaise on Mom's eggs was made from cashews! I eyed this covetously. That is a bowl full of YUM. The food was amazing, would eat it again. 

This was my Oatmeal Pancakes. I did not realize this was actually a CAKE, made in a PAN - it was like eating a chewy spicy oatmeal cookie. Completely decadent.
It had a spiced local blueberry and blackberry compote and a generous glop of whipped cream. I didn't eat the green thing (a nettle?) but I ate the flowers. I love the vintage plate too. Both Mom and I practically licked our plates, and I was still stuffed hours later - I should have gotten the half-order! 

Can we go back to the roses? Yay! More roses. 
So gorgeous. 
These yellow ones were so fat and heavy. 
A giant cluster of roses - I did quite a bit of flower-fondling here, as I smelled them all. The only section of the entire HCP to rival this was the lavender garden. Intoxicating! 

Mom dragged me over to the fuschia garden. 
Yes, they are fuschias. What about the roses? 

Mom distracted me by pointing out this fat bumblebee. 
The HCP has a birds, bees and butterfly garden - this might be part of it. 

Have some more apples. 
I don't even like apples, and I wanted to pick them. 

We had a quick wander through the children's garden. I liked this "Thyme for Courage" sign. 
Mom pointed out the little rock lizard sunning himself to the right of it. See him? 

Back at the start, but wait! 
Didn't we have one final mission? 

"Yes!" Mom is pumping her arm, as she has managed to find a lavender plant and another fuschia, named "David", which is my brother's name. 

What an awesome day! I am still smiling as I write this - this didn't even seem like that many pictures (okay, sorry, it was a lot of pictures).
I left the refection in this selfie - this was when we were waiting to get into the restaurant. Love you, Mom! Thanks for another wonderful Mom-Day Adventure! 

Vizzini was very excited when I got home.
"I am?"

I hope you enjoyed our adventure day! 


  1. What a great post! Glad you and mom had fun. Mermaid!!

    1. I thought of you when I saw the mermaid! Glad you enjoyed our little adventure, Ally. :)

  2. That's a really uplifting set of pictures! It can be a real tonic to get out and about enjoying nature.
    Incidentally, did you know that lavender used sparingly in the kitchen is a treat?
    Ok, so it's probably been out of vogue since Tudor times but well worth a tinker with. A word of caution, go for the culinary stuff, lavender is gorgeous but pesticides not quite as pleasant.


    1. Thank you, Paul, I agree.

      I have had lavender in shortbread and other baking. Good to know, thanks. I'm not much of a cook, however.

  3. Oh Sheila I always enjoy and adventure day with you and your Mum! So many delightful photos, the one of you in the gazebo the bridge that your Mum painted and well far too many to mention! I think you have that rare mother daughter relationship where you are best friends (like me & mine although she is so far away) we are priviledged to have such lovely ladies as our Mums! Now to your dress - wow I have seen it before but I don't think I realized how much I love it. The colour is gorgeous and so are those shoes! I smiled at the close up of your pretty vintage bag and all the bling lots of matching going on there - lovely. You are a bright spot in the day Shazxx

    1. I'm so glad you enjoyed the post, Shaz! It's such a photo-ready place - I took far more pics than this too.

      Mom and I have had a fractious relationship over the years - the pandemic has actually brought us much closer together than we've ever been, I think. I have to thank Covid for that! Life is short, and I really want to make sure I have spent as much time with Mom as I can before life starts to ramp up again.

      Thank you so much - I love this dress, such a great style. I went full matchy! Big hugs to you for the weekend, my dear.

  4. What a fantastic place you've taken us to, Sheila, the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific is absolutely magnificent! I'd never heard of an inukshuk, nor have I ever seen - let alone grown - circular squash. How peculiar! I'm loving the mermaid in the pond!
    Your outfit for the day is totally my cup of tea - that dress! - but I'm definitely hearing you on dripping with sweat by the end of the day! xxx

    1. It's an amazing place, Ann - did you like "your" garden? :) I would take visitors there over almost any other garden in Victoria, even over Butcharts (very famous tourist attraction). I loved the mermaid so much.

      Thank you, my dear! I was good until we got into the car afterwards - it was over 30 degrees inside and took a while to cool off!

  5. Nature and Nurture ~ the gardens and Mom! What a breathtakingly lovely day had by the two of you, and your enjoyment was contagious; it spilled across your blog and onto my smiling face! :-)

    Another YaY for another jammy dress! Despite your sweltering by day's end, it did look lovely with the jacket on for the earlier part of your adventure.

    I look forward to the next adventure you two dream up, the smiles that come from being together, and the visceral response in me to your enjoyment. :-)

    1. I thought of you and Fred and Robin while we were at the HCP, Laurie - you would all love this place. I bet it is amazing in spring. Mom and I had such a lovely day - she reads all the comments and I know she will appreciate yours.

      Yay for jammy dresses! I liked the look with the jacket, but I was quite happy not to wear it.

      I hope we will be able to sneak a few more in before I go back to work full-time. Fingers crossed.

    2. I’m adding my crossed fingers to yours for a few more Mom Adventures prior to resuming a full time work schedule!

    3. No word yet on my full-time status, Laurie, so I'm just taking it a week or two at a time. There will be a Mom-Day Adventure this week!

  6. As always Victoria continues to provide an abundance of gorgeous. You and your mom look so happy and contented. The "pancakes" look perfectly luscious. You must have been, as usual, the most elegant person in the park.

    1. It's truly a gorgeous place, Nana. I'm so surprised at all the treasures there are hidden here. Mom and I had such a great time. :)

      I was so stuffed from the pancakes I didn't eat dinner until 8pm!

      I think I was, but that's part of the fun - dressing up!

  7. Oh, what a great day out with your Mom, those pics are beautiful. Lovely to have time to spend together.
    I adore your dress, I haven’t seen it before; the colour and style really suits you.
    You would have turned heads in that elegant outfit. x

    1. Thank you so much, Phyl! We had a great time.

      I tend to forget about my older classic dresses (which is why I turn all my hangers around!), and this is a true favourite. Glad you like it.

  8. I love your outfit and that you could give this dress another wear - it looks so good on you and even if you didn't get to wear the jacket with it it looks great! it's nice the weather was so warm for your walk, and the gardens are so pretty! :)

    1. Thank you so much, Mica! Same here - I always try to fit in a wearing of all my pretty dresses.

  9. Gosh, so much to see! I love miniature things too and we love Japanese gardens. It's gorgeous, I could sit just there for hours. I think the dress is veel beautiful and those shoes are the perfect ones to wear underneath. Enjoy your weekend, we still have another week off vacation left.

    1. I know, it's a bit overwhelming, Nancy - so much beauty. Thank you, my dear friend. Happy rest of your vacation!

  10. Beautiful feminine styling. I love the dress and the shoes. The jacket is a great way to finish this outfit too. It's great you had a nice day with your mother. So many pretty roses at that horticulture centre. I love roses!

    1. Thank you, Ivana! It was so hot I never wore the jacket! I love these days with Mom - and she knows I love roses too!

  11. Such a lovely vintage dress- a real gem! YOur mom is so cute and it's wonderful that you get to spend so beautiful time together like this. I love that you have such spectacular places to visit. Lucky you! xx

    1. Thank you, Lucy! Isn't she adorable? I love these days that we have, and the special places we visit - I am very conscious of how lucky we are.

  12. What gorgeous gardens! I would never want to leave. I love roses, but I've never grown them (my maiden name was Rose). You and your mom have the best adventures. That pancake looked, I want some oatmeal cookies!!

    1. Thanks so much, Marsha! I hope I can make it back there again soon. I am not a green thumb, but I do love gardens and nature. We do - it's been a fabulous summer of adventures, for sure. OMG, that was so filling, but delicious!

  13. That mermaid in the pond is so cool! No fairy houses in my garden, but I do have a large stone griffin.

    Mom-day is definitely worth dressing up for. You look splendid.

    1. Isn't it amazing? I loved that touch. Oh, love it! If I had a garden, I have multiple gargoyles I would put in it.

      It is! Thank you!

  14. Yes, it was a lot of pictures ;) I like to stop and smell roses when I come across them growing in a garden as the ones you get from a florist tend to have very little scent.

    I was happy to see all those gluten-free options on the menu for that little restaurant. I find it hard to eat out unless it's Thai, Indian,or other Southeast Asian-style restaurant with lots of rice-based dishes

    1. I am kind of known for masses of pics, heh heh. I love roses in the wild - I know, they never smell at florists!

      Oh gosh yes, GF is huge out here - most restaurants have options.

  15. Sheila, thank you for bringing us along on your Mom-day adventure. It looks like the two of you have a wonderful time together and both of you looked fabulous.


    1. Thanks so much, Rena! We had a great time - I love our adventures!

  16. What a stunning, sprawling garden filled paradise (with one seriously scrumptious onsite menu to boot). This is another corner of the Island I've yet to see, but which is high up on my list of places to visit one day. Your beautiful photos have spurred my desire to do so on all the more.

    Big hug & the sunniest, sweetest of wishes for summer's final week,

    Autumn Zenith �� Witchcrafted Life

    1. I really loved the tranquility of this place, Autumn - it was so serene. Nourish has a downtown restaurant - their food is fantastic.

      Get yourself over to the Island! :) Big hugs back, my dear friend.


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